It doesn't take a major scientific study -- or the Daily Mail -- to tell us first impressions matter on a first date. But guess what: You're about to get this newsflash anyway. According to a big survey of 2000 people by AXA, you have exactly 12 minutes to make an impression on a first date. Your moment of judgment is swift and fleeting, so you'd better get it right. Or else! You'll just have to go on another first date with someone else.
If you want Cupid's arrows on your side, be sure to smile a lot, make eye contact, breathe out minty freshness, use a pleasant tone of voice, and wear a spiffy outfit. These all sound straight from the No Shit Files, but you'd be amazed how often people get them wrong. If, on the other hand, you are determined to torpedo your chance at love with Mr. New, be sure to have foul body odor, bad breath, swear a lot, dress like a hobo, and scowl. Or try any of these proven romance-killing gestures.
1. Forget to wear deodorant and run all the way to your meeting place.
2. Order the Onion Blossom before your date arrives.
3. Try out your best Kristen Stewart impersonation.
4. Wear dark sunglasses because you look much cooler that way.
5. Instead of brushing your teeth, try oil pulling, but only for about 30 seconds because it's not like you have all day to swish coconut oil around your mouth, sheesh.
6. Wear something vintage, like that old sweatshirt your roommate threw out the other day.
7. Pretend you're Malcolm Tucker from In the Loop. Bonus points for a convincing Scottish accent.
8. Make eye contact with your date vicariously via your smartphone.
9. Give your dog a big, wet, sloppy, open-mouth kiss before you leave.
10. Denim overalls are a thing this summer, right?
11. Impress your date with your ability to say f*** in 50 different languages.
12. Hope your date feels the same way about wearing Snuggies in public as you do.
13. Stare at your date's mouth because it'll make them worry there's something there. Now you have upper hand, you date wizard you!
14. Smiling is for tools.
15. Coat yourself with Icy Hot preemptively in case the sex is super strenuous -- you don't want to be sore the next day.
16. Volunteer at your zoo's monkey house just before your date.
17. Pretend you're Captain America: Wear your childhood Underoos, run around, and try to lift big, heavy objects. Superheroes are hot.
18. Curse loudly when you can't lift those objects.
19. Wear your irresistibly cute giant moose costume.
20. Don't bother wearing clothes because your date really should just get to know the real you from the start.
What's the biggest turn-off for you on a first date?
Image via Daniel Koebe/Corbis